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Fallout From Clippers Ownership Transfer

Donald Sterling had been the NBA’s longest-tenured owner, but when Steve Ballmer closed on his purchase of the Clippers today, Sterling’s reign came to an end. We’ll round up the fallout from the ownership change here, with any additional updates on top:

  • As expected, a court of appeals has denied Donald Sterling’s final maneuver to prevent the sale of the Clippers, tweets Ramona Shelburne of
  • While Sterling has previously vowed to sue the league for the rest of his life, Arash Markazi of tweets that the Clippers are in no danger of ever returning to the hands of their disgraced former owner.

Earlier updates:

  • Attorneys for Donald Sterling asked an appellate court for an immediate stay and an order that would halt or unwind the sale, report Nathan Fenno and James Rainey of the Los Angeles Times. Still, other lawyers familiar with petitions like that believe there’s little chance the effort will bear fruit, Fenno and Rainey add.
  • Donald Sterling didn’t consent to the sale, so that’s why 10% of the team won’t be spun off into a charitable foundation in which Shelly Sterling would be heavily involved, as Fenno and Rainey write in the same piece.
  • Ballmer is purchasing 100% of the team, so that means Shelly Sterling didn’t exercise her option to spin a stake of up to 10% of the franchise into a charitable foundation, tweets Dan Woike of the Orange County Register.
  • The NBA has filed a countersuit in federal court against Sterling and the Sterling family trust in response to his antitrust suit against the league and commissioner Adam Silver, reports Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times. The league is seeking compensation for damages and enforcement of an agreement it claims Sterling signed in 2005 indemnifying the league against litigation and monetary loss, as Fenno explains. Shelly Sterling agreed this May to indemnify the NBA for costs and litigation relating to the sale of the team to Ballmer.
  • Ballmer said he feels his record $2 billion investment in the Clippers carries much less risk than he took on in his business dealings, making him comfortable with the purchase, as he tells Ramona Shelburne of (Twitlonger link).
  • Ballmer, who was a part of Seattle’s bid to wrest the Kings from Sacramento last year, also reiterated his long-held stance against moving the Clippers out of Los Angeles, as Shelburne notes in another Twitlonger dispatch.

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